Copied

I got this idea, thought about it for a while, then went on a 2 hour writing rampage.

The result was this.

 

Copied

I’ve come to accept it as a normal part of life. All the people in the town I live in are me, at different parts of my life.
***
I was in my room. I looked around. I couldn’t afford many possetions in my current financial situation. I stepped out to go for a walk.
My apartment building was full of me. I currently lived on the second floor, though I knew that would change soon. I went down the stairs and nodded at me behind the desk. I nodded back.
“Just going out for a walk?” I asked.
I laughed. “You should know.”
I opened the door, went down a little side path leading to the main sidewalk. I walked down the street. My stomach was growling. I turned into a small fast-food restarant, infamous for not good quality food. But I was hungry, and it was famous for quick food.
I walked up to the counter. I was behind it.
I smirked at me. “Oh boy. When do I start working here? I had always hoped that I wouldn’t have to.”
“You don’t. I mean…you already did.” I responded.
“What?”
“Well, I mean, I don’t remember me walking in on me here. So I, meaning you, have to be from a later instance.”
“Well I don’t remember working here.”
I stared at me. I appeared to be the exact age as me, which was impossible.
Absolutely impossible.
“You must just have forgotten. I mean, this is the only time I’ve ever seen me working here.”
“No. You know we can’t.”
I frowned. I was an impossiblity here. I couldn’t exist. Unless…
***
“We don’t have any control anymore, sir,” the liutenant said to his officer, who was standing above him.
“What do you mean, we don’t have any control? That’s preposterous. All we do is sit here and make sure he doesn’t die. What could go on? He didn’t die, did he?” he said the last sentence with a grim tone.
“No sir. He has taken control, but he doesn’t seem to be consious of it. And…” the liutenant looked nervous.
“What?!”
“Another one has gotten in. Look, sir,” he said, pointing at the screen. A number in the top-right corner said 501.
“Five-hundred…and one… It’s impossible. Absolutely impossible. Restart the system. He should be able to fend for himself for a few minutes.”
***
I walked out of the restraunt, slowly eating an oily sandwich I had bought there.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” I said quietly to myself. I looked up from my food just in time to see a younger me crossing the road. A car, driven by an older me, whizzed past, killing me.
I watched in terror as I lay dead on the motorway. I had never suspected that this might happen. I jumped to the closest conclusion and looked down at my body, expecting it to vanish as the younger me’s death sealed my early fate.
But nothing happened.
Nothing at first, anyway. In a moment a tearing sensation came from my leg. All in a split second, my leg burst open, blood spraying, the muscle exposed. It decayed, rotted off, and nothing was left of my leg but whitened bone.
I lay screaming on the sidewalk when I walked out of the restraunt.
I grinned. “You see, this is one reason I came here. I knew you would screw up eventually.”
***
The liutenant opened up the system manager.
“Sir, I think we have a bigger problem now.”
The officer came up behind the liutenant and looked at the screen.
“Look at the number. It’s dropping.”
“450, 400, 350… It’s going fast.”
They watched the numbers go down to 150 before it started slowing.
“It’s going slower now…”
The numbers started rising slowly, gaining speed eventually.
***
I clutched my leg, now only bone up to the hip.
“You’re lucky,” I said. “Most of me has died already. But somehow you managed to live.”
“But who are you? I mean, you are me, but… You aren’t dead. And why did you pretend that you didn’t know anything while you were in the restraunt?”
“Because,” I said, “I’m taking over.”
***
“It appears it has leveled out again, sir.”
“Where?”
“514.”
***
“I really don’t understand what’s going on. But I should!”
“No, you shouldn’t. See, I’m you, yes. But not from this timeline.”
“What? Why are you doing this? How…”
I cut me off. “You don’t need to worry about that. But I will answer the “why”. To break out of the system.”
***
After a couple of hours, the liutenant called the officer over again.
“The number has dropped slightly, sir. It’s down to 508.”
***
“Now there is one thing you need to know. You, my unexpectedly fortunate me, get to be the one to see it.”
“See what?”
“The life outside this system. Only one of us can see it, or get there, or whatever.”
“Why?”
“Because I’m going to die. All of me.”
***
“The number is at 501 again, sir.”
“How can that be possible? And what is happening here?” the officer screamed. “I’m calling it in. We need help with this.”
***
I stood up straighter.
“Prepare!” I yelled. I pulled out a knife from my pocket.
I was still sitting on the ground, gripping my leg bones. I watched all of me milling about in the street stop, and pull out their knives.
“End of the system!” I yelled, and so did all of me around me. They slit their throats and fell away into the street slowly, bleeding out.
***
It was a few minutes later that the liutenant pulled the officer over again.
“Sir, you will want to see this,” he said, pointing to the screen again.
“It’s dropping again! But even faster this time! What could be happening?” He straightened his glasses. “I called in support. They should be here soon.”
***
I sat there, transfixed in terror. I looked at my leg.
Somehow, it had come back.
I stood up shakily. I felt a pulse of electricity surge through my body. Parts of the street fell away into nothingness, followed by entire buildings.
Lightning struck out from my chest into everything, dissolving it all. I floated in the void.
A single bolt of electricity went to my head, stunning me and rendering me unconsious.
I awoke lying in a park. People walked all around me, but…different people. Not me.
They all looked different.
I was out of the system.
***
“It’s at zero,” the liutenant said.

 

 

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One thought on “Copied

  1. […] I don’t know if I’ve said anything about it on here before, but I’ve submitted two stories to the F&SF magazine (ah, looks like I mentioned it in the second), though both were […]

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